2015 Favorite Recipe (My List)

Oh 2015...... What can I say about you.....

I think I can describe 2015 as being full of hills and valleys, ups and downs, many happy moments and a few sad. This year started really positive, but the first few months were very testing for me. I had two miscarriages in 3 months and it was an intense start to 2015 to say the least. It forced me to grow personally, and as a spouse and mom. Overtime, I really feel that I am a better person because it was a challenge to me and my family, but we have peace with everything. However, there were happy times in the first few months of  2015 too! I got to spend lots of time with my family and friends, Kellen continued to grow into a lovely little guy, one of my best friends was elected to the Wisconsin State Assembly, my family went on a trip to the Wisconsin Dells for my birthday, Kellen's first movie at the theater (Little Mermaid!), another one of my best friends had a beautiful healthy baby girl, volleyball, birthday parties with friends, a brand new car, the Belly to Baby Expo and a wonderful trip to Florida.  We found out I was pregnant in July shortly after Ron's cousin's wedding and we were so excited, but very nervous. I think it took me forever to talk about this little boy not  because I wasn't thrilled, but I was nervous about something happening to him to take him away from me and by saying nothing it didn't have to be real until I was ready. Thankfully, we have been very blessed and this pregnancy has been going smoothly.  We spent a lot of the summer is Door County with friend and family, planted a garden, enjoyed birthdays and weddings, Birth Without Fear Conference in Milwaukee with my friend Emily and a family reunion.  Fall and Winter have been filled with more birthdays, special time with our nephews, Quarry Quest (last year!), another Belly to Baby Expo, going to a Packer Game, Finding out my cousin and Ron's cousin are both expecting babies within weeks of me, Halloween, the end of volleyball till after the little guy comes, Zoo Boo, Heritage Hill and finding out that our little baby is a He.

I have to say after writing all of that I think we had a happy year despite how it started.

2016 will be here at midnight and I am excited. I feel like I have a lot to look forward to and am happy to be where I am.  Ron and I both have jobs we love, Kellen is wonderful and potty training is going really well right now and our new family member is healthy and growing so he can greet us in March or April.  We have a few fun things already planned such as a family trip to Wisconsin Dells, birthday parties and baby showers, another Belly to Baby Expo in March and a trip to Milwaukee to see Daniel Tiger Live with Kellen (he is seriously going to pee his pants with excitement). I haven't planned to far into the year because our the little one, but I am looking forward to new adventures with my growing family.

I wanted to share with you my favorite meals/recipes from 2015. I love doing these round-ups because it reminds me to make some of these again!

Happy New Year friends! Tonight, I hope that you can celebrate the good things that happened to you this year and wish you peace, luck, happiness and love in 2016!


Dijon Blood Orange Marinated Salmon

Oh my goodness was this delicious. I still remember the flavors of this salmon. This recipe makes me so excited for blood oranges to pop-up on the shelves. 

Creamy Balsamic and Herb Chicken

This was a recipe I made on a whim and it was amazing. The sauce was so good and my balsamic hating husband actually loved it!


 Pan Seared Pork Chops with Red Wine Thyme Reduction

I made this for a Valentine's recipe challenge and it was so great it needed to be on this list. The recipe was so easy, but how delicious does that seared pork chop look? Yum!


Junk Yard Special

This recipe came from a Secret Recipe Club Swap. It is one of my all time favorite sandwiches and I am so happy I tried it. 

Salted Nut Roll Bars

I brought these to the Dells last year because my husband and friend Kayla are candy bar twins and both love Salted Nut Roll. These were so good and easy. I think I will make them to bring this year!


Grilled Chicken Caprese

This recipe was a little premature to tomato season, but it was so wonderful. The tomatoes, the balsamic,  the cheese and the herbs.....so wonderful. I have made this one a few times since and it is a regular in the summer. 


Classic Lime Margaritas

This margarita mix makes the best margaritas EVER.  I made tones of it this summer to make these margaritas. I actually have two jars frozen in my freezer and will freeze blood orange juice for blood orange margaritas after the baby is born!


Bacon, Egg and Roasted Asparagus Salad

So simple and so delicious. I can't wait till asparagus season so I can enjoy this for breakfast again! Runny eggs and asparagus are nothing short of amazing. 

Blueberry, Basil and Goat Cheese Galette

I made this for a party with a good friend who moved to LA this year. I am so proud of her and was so happy all my friends loved this. This recipe was also a Runner Up in the Fresh from the Garden recipe contest for Taste of Home. Look for it in the June/July 2016 issue!


Penne with Feta Pesto Cream Sauce and Meatballs

Summer means fresh herbs and fresh herbs mean pesto to me! I love the combo of feta and pesto.... the meatballs were the delicious icing on the cake! It was a bit heavy for summer, but the flavors were amazing. 


Creamy Chicken Bacon Pesto Gnocchi Skillet

Oh look more pesto! This recipe was a weeknight win. It is so easy to make and put together on a busy weeknight!


Creamy One-Pot Stove Top Mac and Cheese

Hello pregnancy cravings! In the beginning of the pregnancy pasta was the winner.....I guess still is the winner...HA.  This is so easy and it is all in one-pot!


IKEA Swedish Meatballs

My mom's side of the family is Swedish and it is hard for me to pass up a meatball.  I tried IKEA's recipe for the first time and they were really good....as good as my Grandma's? Not sure about that, but pretty tasty. 


Szechuan Green Beans and Ground Pork

Ron and I really got into stir fry in November and this was my favorite one we tried. I loved how easy it was and Kellen loved it- bonus!

December (I have a few favorites this month!)

One-Pot Chili Mac

One-pot dishes could be my food anthem this year. This was my hands down favorite of all of them. Warm, filling and kid friendly. 

Old-Fashioned Deli-Style Ham Salad

My Aunt always made ham salad after Christmas and this was so close to hers it felt like I was in Indiana eating it on white bread with my cousins. I can't wait to make this again since Ron and I ate it all before sharing!

Potato Chip Topped Tuna Casserole (Cream Soup Free!)

Nostalgic meals were a favorite in this month and this version of a childhood favorite was so good.